2 Politicians Indicted On Federal Money Laundering Allegations

(ConservativeInsider.org) – On June 27, a federal grand jury indicted two Georgia politicians on charges of money laundering.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan announced charges against the chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners, Marcello Banes, 48, and local real estate agent and commissioner of Newton’s District 3, Stephanie Lindsey, 52.

Both Banes and Lindsey have been charged with honest services wire fraud and conspiring to launder money that was obtained by wire fraud related to an allegedly corrupt real estate deal. Banes was charged with making false statements to the FBI during their 2023 investigation, while Lindsey was charged with federal income tax fraud.

According to the Department of Justice, Banes allegedly used his position as one of the representatives for Newton on the board of the Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Newton, Morgan, Jasper, and Walton counties, which has two representatives from each county. The JDA was established to help create an industrial area to attract more businesses to the region. Banes allegedly used his position to influence the sale of a parcel of commercial property and accepted a kickback of $100,000 from Lindsey, who allegedly received a $150,000 payment after the property was sold.

In a statement, Buchanan said politicians who abuse “their power for personal gain” must be held accountable.

Banes denied the allegations and stated he looks “forward to clearing my name and demonstrating my good character.”

Lindsey stated she “would not knowingly break any law,” adding that she looks “forward to the truth coming out in court.”

In a statement, the JDA stated it was unaware of any illegal activity allegedly committed by Banes or Lindsey and was “not a party to the transaction” described in the indictment.

An ordained minister and the Newton Board of Commissioners’ first black chairman, Banes was elected in 2016. A lawyer and real estate broker, Lindsey was elected on June 18, beating out incumbent Alana Sanders.

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